People often complain about turkey being dry. This is largely due to the fact that most people are overcooking their bird, unbeknownst to them. If you purchase a turkey that already has a pop-up thermometer inserted in the breast, immediately take that thing out and put it where it belongs, the garbage. Those thermometers pop out when the internal temp reaches about 180 degrees, which is about 25 degrees BEYOND what temperature your turkey should be pulled from the oven.
Ideally, you should remove your turkey when your thermometer reads about 150-155 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. The temperature will continue to climb to about 160-165 degrees after removing it from the oven, which will put you at the ideal spot for succulent meat. Resting the bird is also key. Let the turkey sit outside the oven for at least 15 – 20 minutes before carving to ensure moisture retention.
Of course, rubbing herbed butter under the skin before roasting will help with moister texture, but the temperature trick is ultimately the most important part of cooking the perfect turkey.
Napa Valley Estate Virtú is a classic pairing with turkey, with the bright notes of sauvignon blanc and the structure of sémillon. Élu is also a wonderful choice for red wine drinkers. It is a balanced and nuanced red blend that will pair nicely with your side dishes including gravy and cranberries.
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